Mediation efforts fail, lawsuit against Carthage ISD moves forward

Mediation efforts fail, lawsuit against Carthage ISD moves forward
Mediation efforts have failed in a federal lawsuit involving Carthage Independent School District and the case is moving forward, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Marshall.

CARTHAGE, TX (KLTV) - Mediation efforts have failed in a federal lawsuit involving Carthage Independent School District and the case is moving forward, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Marshall.

The mother of a student filed the lawsuit in April, alleging school district officials failed to discipline a football player accused of secretly recording her daughter in the nude at an off-campus residence two years ago. The lawsuit cites two Title IX violations and three violations of the Fourteenth Amendment for procedural due process.

The lawsuit alleges the students were at a friend’s house in April 2016 after sports practice had concluded when the male set up his cellphone in the bedroom and positioned it to capture the vanity “in order to record the girls undressing and dressing before and after they showered.”

RELATED: Federal lawsuit: Carthage ISD failed to discipline football player accused of recording nude video of students

The video was allegedly circulated around the school, and the lawsuit accuses the district of “failing to promptly and appropriately investigate,” that resulted in, “furthered gender-based harassment and a hostile environment, effectively denying Plaintiff, and other female students, access to educational opportunities.”

A notice filed Sept. 18 by attorney David Folsom, a former U.S. District Judge and partner at the Jackson Walker firm in Texarkana, said mediation between the plaintiff and Carthage ISD, Otis Amy, Scott Surratt, and Dr. Joseph Glenn Hambrick was unsuccessful.

On Oct. 4, the family’s attorney submitted to the court a list of experts that could be called to testify. That list includes a family member of the victim who works as a school administrator in another district.

The filing states the witness "…will testify in detail that Defendants acted in a manner in violation of state and federal policy and not in a manner that a reasonable school administrator would under the same or similar circumstances.”

Other experts listed include agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security who were involved in the investigation, as well as former Carthage ISD Police Chief Christopher Hardy.

The district has declined commenting on the case due to the involvement of minors and employees.

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